A more permanent solution to B.C.’s ongoing opioid crisis could make its way to Victoria soon, pending federal approval.
A permanent supervised injection site is scheduled to open next to the Our Place Society outreach centre on Pandora Avenue on June 18, an Island Health spokesperson confirmed.
The site was first approved last August.
The facility will allow up to 10 people at a time to inject or use illegal drugs, with medical personnel and outreach workers on site at all times.
Our Place Society spokesperson Grant McKenzie told Victoria Buzz that a makeshift overdose prevention pod operated by Our Place Society, Island Health, and SOLID Outreach Society will remain for a two-week overlap period after the permanent site opens.
The prevention pod first opened in December 2016—”a long time for a temporary solution,” McKenzie said. During that time, staff responded to around 30 overdoses a month, with zero fatalities reported.
While Our Place Society is closing the prevention pod, McKenzie says they will likely keep a number of paramedics on site to take the pressure of first response off of its outreach workers.
Island Health will have more details on the new site early next week.
On Wednesday, the provincial government announced a second stream of funding for community-led responses to the opioid overdose crisis, totalling $1.65 million.